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Veteran reunites with his aircraft

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas--Retired Col. Charles Powell, former 17th Training Wing commander and George Baker, Vietnam-era U.S. Air Force pilot, speak about the rich heritage of the B-25 aircraft located by the Jacobson gate. Baker was reunited with his aircraft here, thinking it had disappeared after delivering it to the “boneyard” in Tucson, Ariz. in 1962. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt Leanne Hedgepeth)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas--Retired Col. Charles Powell, former 17th Training Wing commander and George Baker, Vietnam-era U.S. Air Force pilot, speak about the rich heritage of the B-25 aircraft located by the Jacobson gate. Baker was reunited with his aircraft here, thinking it had disappeared after delivering it to the “boneyard” in Tucson, Ariz. in 1962. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt Leanne Hedgepeth)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—George Baker, Vietnam-era U.S. Air Force pilot holds his “I love me jacket,” which displays the various squadron patches he obtained during his career in the Air Force. In the 1950s and 1960s, Baker flew the B-25 aircraft now located at the Jacobson gate. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt Leanne Hedgepeth)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—George Baker, Vietnam-era U.S. Air Force pilot holds his “I love me jacket,” which displays the various squadron patches he obtained during his career in the Air Force. In the 1950s and 1960s, Baker flew the B-25 aircraft now located at the Jacobson gate. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt Leanne Hedgepeth)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A Vietnam-era U.S. Air Force pilot was reunited with his aircraft when he visited the B-25 static display here, March 11.
George Baker, Vietnam veteran, piloted the B-25 located by the Jacobson gate. He recalls never seeing the aircraft again after flying the airplane to a depot in Tucson, Ariz. in 1962. Baker thought it had disappeared. By random chance, Baker was given the opportunity to see his B-25 again.
"I almost had tears in my eyes when I saw the aircraft again," said Baker. Stationed out of Dyess Air Force Base, he flew the B-25 in 1958 through 1959 and in 1962, he delivered the plane to the "boneyard."
Finding the plane was especially sentimental to Baker because he has seen most of the U.S. as he flew the plane during the early days of his career. By order of his commander, Baker flew around the U.S. looking for airplane parts in the B-25.
He thought maybe the B-25 was donated to the Mexican air force or to a museum in Chino, California.
Baker's reunion with his B-25 was sparked by a chance conversation he has with his friend, a historian at the museum in Dyess. When Baker made a comment about the airplane his friend said, "What's the tail number to your plane? I can tell you where it is." Sure enough the plane was sitting on a pedestal at Goodfellow, not too far away from Dyess.
Baker met Col. Charles Powell, former Goodfellow wing commander, through a mutual family friend. They both united to reminisce on their flying days as they toured Goodfellow.
Powell said, "It's refreshing to talk to someone who knows the planes."
Throughout Baker's time at Goodfellow, he emphasized, "I'm no hero. I just want to see my airplane."